First things first, this blog is not dead. It may be hovering at -9 hit points, but hopefully this post is the bandage needed to save its life. I do intend to continue with my 'Ultimate Sandbox' series, once I get some other pressing tasks out of the way.\
Second thing, if you are playing in my campaign, stop reading now. I mean it!
Now on the subject of D&D, the game I mentioned in the last post, scheduled for May, fell through. Unavoidable circumstances. The good news is that it's been rescheduled for this coming Saturday, which is both exciting and nerve-wracking after a three-year hiatus from the game.
My so-called current campaign is 3rd edition, and the upcoming game is a sort of grand finale for the mini-setting I developed. The world is a post-apocalypse in which the sun has been extinguished, and the PCs are living in a sky-castle that's about to be besieged by an army of orcs riding dragons. So yeah, this is going to be a complicated one, especially when you factor in the dilemma I'm having.
In the last game, the PCs discovered a well from which they can summon the dead back to life. I intended it as a way for them to bring back some extra firepower in the form of some deceased characters and a couple of minor heroes from the recent past. The problem came when the players finally twigged on to the fact that this is world is a continuation of my 2nd edition campaign; armed with that knowledge they had a list of three ancient heroes who by all rights ought to be very high level.
At this point I could very well have refused the request to resurrect these guys. It's not knowledge their PCs should have at all. But I decided to reward them for finally figuring it out, and remembering those ancient heroes that I only ever mentioned in passing. I considered the possibility that at least one of these guys might have died of old age, and would be decrepit and useless when brought back, but looking over my notes I saw that I'd already chronicled the manner of their deaths, so that was a no go.
(For any of you out there wondering why I didn't just change that history to suit my needs, that's something that I don't like to do. Like fudging die rolls, or altering things behind the scenes during a game. As far as I'm concerned the things I have already written are sacrosanct, and I won't knowingly change them for any purpose. Just as I expect my players to be held to the scores on their character sheets, I myself must be held to the notes I have written down as the DM. That's the game part of role-playing game.)
So that leaves me with an adventure designed for 6th level PCs that suddenly has three 16th-18th level NPCs in play, which is not a good situation for me. Luckily I have another ace-in-the-hole in my old notes, in that I have established already that the supreme commander of the orcs is a guy called the Reaver, an immortal orc who was around at the same time as the aforementioned NPCs. I had kept him out of the adventure by saying that he's away besieging the dwarf strongholds, but I can bring him in once his messengers bring him word of what's going on. After all, he's bound to want to come and do battle with his old enemies.
But that presents another problem, and potentially an even bigger one: these high-level character could very well overshadow events. I'm hoping that the fact that I'm aware of the problem will mean that I can head it off. It may even set up an interesting obstacle, having the First King of Men around to muck up the chain of command. But I still plan to have the PCs make the decisions, and they do have a number of very powerful items in play.
The feeling I get as I ponder this game is that it's either going to be the best damn session I've ever run, or a complete and utter train wreck. I'll let you all know next week how it goes.